Being loved is the most powerful motivation in the world! Our ability to love is often shaped by our experience of love. We usually love others as we have been loved. Some of the greatest statements about God’s loving nature were written by a man who experienced God’s love in a unique way. John, Jesus’ disciple, expressed his relationship to the Son of God by calling himself "the disciple Jesus loved" (John 21:20). Although Jesus’ love is clearly communicated in all the Gospels, in John’s Gospel it is a central theme. Because his own experience of Jesus’ love was so strong and personal, John was sensitive to those words and actions of Jesus that illustrated how the one who is love loved others. Jesus knew John fully and loved him fully. He gave John and his brother James the nickname "Sons of Thunder" (Mark 3:17), perhaps from an occasion when the brothers asked Jesus for permission to "call down fire from heaven" on a village that had refused to welcome Jesus and the disciples (Luke 9:54). In John’s Gospel and letters, we see the great God of love, while the thunder of God’s justice bursts from the pages of Revelation. Jesus confronts each of us as he confronted John. We cannot know the depth of Jesus’ love unless we are willing to face the fact that he knows us completely. Otherwise we are fooled into believing he must love the people we pretend to be, not the sinners we actually are. John and all the disciples convince us that God is able and willing to accept us as we are. Being aware of God’s love is a great motivator for change. His love is not given in exchange for our efforts; his love frees us to really live. Have you accepted that love?